Do your pizzeria employees know the law around customers with service animals?

Do your pizzeria employees know the law around customers with service animals?

An American Humane survey revealed that the majority of retail employees — including those who work at pizza brands — don't know how to accommodate the needs of customers with service dogs, with nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) reporting that they never received proper training. That, unfortunately, is leading to a lot of problems for people living with PTSD and soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, who rely on service dogs. Many retailers and restaurateurs, for example, have asked them to leave or have barred them from entering their establishments, the said in a news release.  

The American Humane — which supports U.S. servicemen and women — is hoping its partnership with Mars Petcare US will change that. The groups worked together to produce two free service dog training videos designed to help train all retail employees to better accommodate veterans and other patrons who have service dogs.

These new training videos provide guidance about how employees can properly and lawfully attend customers with service dogs in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The videos also include lots of input from business owners and veterans. 

Two years ago, Mars and the Schultz Family Foundation, among others, helped fund an effort led by American Humane and leaders in the veteran, service dog, veterinary, hotel and transportation fields to create the first national training standards for service dogs. The national standards are being used to better serve veterans grappling with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. Likewise, a new national registry is being developed to help verify legitimate service animals in a pilot program by American Humane and the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations.

"There is a great deal of confusion around service dogs that can lead to discrimination against our nation's veterans and others with disabilities," American Humane CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert, said in the release. "By providing business owners and employees with the key information they need to properly serve those who have served our country and those who need our help and understanding, we hope to improve access for those with legitimate service dogs and reduce the possibility of public confrontation."

Topics: Customer Service / Experience, Human Resources

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